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Two vie for Morristown village board seat

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MORRISTOWN - Peter A. Paquette and Janet Newtown have stepped forward as candidates to replace Village Trustee John R. Barse in the March 18 election. Mr. Barse is not seeking re-election.

Mrs. Newtown is a Morristown native who moved back to the village after spending her professional life in Ogdensburg, where she and her husband, John, ran Interiors North, a kitchen and bathroom design company.

She and her husband retired three years ago, sold their home in the city and have spent their time getting acclimated with the village.

“I have gone to the meetings for the last two and a half years and sat and listened,” Mrs. Newtown said. “I can’t complain if I’m not active, so I’m trying to be active.”

Mr. Paquette is also a Morristown native and has spent his entire life in the village except for a four-year stint in the Air Force.

“I chose Morristown to come back to live in,” Mr. Paquette said.

Mr. Paquette is the post master at the Waddington Post Office and also serves as a dive captain for the underwater rescue team at the Morristown Volunteer Fire Department.

In the past, Mr. Paquette has served as the financial secretary for the fire department and was on the school board in the 2000s.

Mr. Paquette and his wife, Mary M., chair the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner in the village.

“I just felt that maybe it was my time to get into the mix here,” he said.

Mrs. Newtown said she believes her business background would make her an ideal candidate for the position.

“I’m going to try to get some business in this town,” she said.

Mrs. Newtown said her attendance at most village board meetings over the last two and a half years has taught her that there is a lot to the job.

“I am retired and I have time to spend doing this,” she said. “I’m not someone who will be a part-time person. I don’t go to Florida.”

Mr. Paquette also noted his business acumen and familiarity with budgets when talking about what he would bring to the board.

“I feel the village is currently going in the right direction,” he said. “I think that I would do a great job making sure it continues to go in the right direction.”

Part of that “right direction” is the ongoing project to build a road bypassing the aging bridge over Morristown Bay.

“I think it would be great to have a road around the bay and get those properties there that the village now owns developed,” he said. “I think the bay and our waterfront is definitely something that our village should take advantage of.”

Mr. Paquette has two children, Brandon, 20, and Christine, 17.

Mrs. Newtown has three children. Her son, Michael J., is the interim dean at the Canino School of Engineering Technology at SUNY Canton. Her daughter, Tracy Underwood, is a stay-at-home mom in Maryland with triplets, and her daughter, Tara Bartlett, is a counselor at Potsdam Central School.

The election is March 18. Voting will take place at the fire hall.

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